REVIEW: I, Detest – Volume One [EP/2017]

Artist: I, Detest 

Album: Volume One 


And our story begins, a series of dismal shades that range from a melancholy grey to a bitter, bottomless black—a void where happiness, light and joy have been smothered by negativity and hostility. A vortex of vicious, deprecating insanity that only grows more and more intense as time wears on. With each step forward, memories of good times, close friends and loved ones grow further and further away, until, you can’t really remember them at all—you can’t even remember what it was like to remember them. Pleasure becomes pain; torture fills every tedious second of every day. 

This is Volume One, the debut offering by masters of malevolent, spastic, soul-shattering heaviness, I, Detest.  

An outfit of terrifying talent whose collective resume includes the like of Enterprise Earth and I Declare War, I, Detest stand to be 2017’s greatest and most relentless debut act. Volume One is a full-bodied, furious display of slam-tinted, technically proficient, chaotic and crushing brutality that defies contemporary genre delineations to bring the heavy music community exactly that which it needed most—even if it didn’t know what that was.  

I, Detest manage to pack the musical insanity of a ten-piece act into four people—with guitarists Will Garcia and Stephen Ellis joined by percussionist Michael Davidson defining the group’s musical variety between their collective years of experience and insurmountable talent both. From the first seconds of “Beastia,” while trekking through the tremendous breakdowns and spastically, sinister and technical moments that bring the song to a close, the listener is struck with a ten-pound brick to the head of realization: there just aren’t that many bands doing what I, Detest are. This realization grows, especially during the instrumental epic, “Chrysanthemum,” where the listener is totally captivated even without the act’s vocal onslaught. Davidson’s drumming blurs the lines between deathcore, slam and something new and monstrous altogether, with skin-shredding blast beats that drop directly into prolapse-inducing breakdowns, while Ellis’s riffs and Garcia’s goliath guitar follow, trudging over the listener and hammering them into the dirt. “Beastia” exemplifies this—hell, even this short-but-sweet intro does—as does “Profundis,” which is truly profound in its aggressive onslaught that it wages in the listener. Just about every song sees the duo oscillating between bewildering, blunt brutality and spectacular displays of technically-infused mayhem. In this fashion, Volume One is a vicious release that appeals to fans of scathing technicality, with “Mortem,” “Profundis” and “Chrysanthemum” all offering distinct and different takes on the act’s absurd and over-the-top nature that operates in the extreme ends of conventional music to make something truly…unconventional.  

I, Detest’s stardom doesn’t end with their musicianship—in fact, if anything, that’s where it begins. Extending his reign of terror from his work In I Declare War and Pathology, frontman Jonathan Huber absolutely annihilates every syllable he screams through the crushing display of no-holds-barred brutality that is Volume One. From his first grisly shrieks on “Bestia,” throughout “Profundis” and the lead single (but climactic Track) “Sus Femina,” Huber retains the prowess and reputation his name carries. With low, guttural bellows that induce intussusception In even the most ironclad fanatics of heavy music, and piercing, shrill screams that liquefy soft organs and shatter bone, Huber is simply a legend; to say otherwise is to effectively imply your own deafness. Huber’s talents are such that there isn’t one song where his skills are truly superior to the others—he is remarkably consistent just as he is remarkably talented, with endurance and excellent cadence that mirrors his devastating range.  

Volume One is a breakout EP that ushers in another “supergroup” of insanely talented musicians—only instead of just making something just like their previous bands, or some bland and contrived deathcore that sells because of the names behind it and not the music, I, Detest do right by fans of heavy music worldwide. Volume One is an eviscerating display of slam-tinted, groovy and grisly deathcore with a brutal flare that stands to appeal to rifflovers, breakdown enthusiasts and really anyone who just appreciates some good old fashioned assbeating. Here’s hoping for a swift Volume Two.  



For Fans Of: Human Error, Within Destruction, Pathology, (early) I Declare War, Misericordiam 

By: Connor Welsh